Food & Recipes

  • Lemon Sunflower Pesto

    2 cups basil leaves, packed
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

    In a food processor, combine ingredients. Process until texture is even. Add to pasta, or spread on chicken or fish before baking.

  • Orange-Basil Sorbet

    2 cups marmalade
    2 cups fresh orange juice
    3 cups water
    1/4 sweet basil, finely chopped

    1. In a large saucepan, combine marmalade,  orange juice, and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer until smooth and syrupy.

    2. When cool, stir in 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet basil. Churn the mixture in an ice-cream maker, according to manufacturer directions. Freeze.

  • Basic Homemade Yogurt

    4 cups (1 quart) milk (skim, 1 percent,  2 percent, or whole)
    1/2 cup powdered milk (optional, for thicker yogurt)
    1/2 cup plain, live culture yogurt

    1. Heat milk and powdered milk (optional) over medium heat in a small saucepan to 180 degrees (use a candy thermometer), stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and let cool to 110 degrees (about an hour).

    2. Gently stir yogurt culture into milk, and pour mixture into a clean glass jar. Cover.

    3. Choose your incubation method:
    • Use a commercial yogurt maker (such as the Salton 1-quart yogurt maker).
    • Place jars in a hot water bath in the oven on its lowest setting (temperature should not exceed 110 degrees).
    • Pour hot water into a cooler, and incubate the jars in there, changing the water every few hours if necessary.

    4. Incubate yogurt at 110 degrees for four to 10 hours or until set. The longer you incubate, the more tart the yogurt will taste. The mixture needs to stay close to 110 degrees for the bacteria to do their job. Lower temperatures deactivate the cultures, and higher temperatures will kill them.

    5. Stir in sweetener, honey, or fruit as desired. Refrigerate up to two weeks.
    Quick tip: Homemade yogurt tends to be thinner than store-bought, but adding powdered milk to the mix will thicken it. Make sure the plain yogurt you buy to inoculate your homemade yogurt says “live and active cultures” on the label.

    Nutrition info per serving (using 1 percent milk and whole-milk yogurt): 121.2 calories; 3.4 g fat; 2.2 g saturated fat; 16.2 mg cholesterol; 9.3 g protein; 13.6 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber; 121 mg sodium

  • Grilled Slmon with Yogurt Garlic Dill Sauce

    For The Salmon
    1 pound salmon, about 1 inch thick, cut into four filets
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    For The Yogurt Garlic Dill Sauce
    1 cup plain yogurt (see recipe above)
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    1. Spray grill with cooking spray, and heat to medium-high. Sprinkle salmon filets with salt and pepper, and grill four minutes a side (skin side up first) or until done.

    2. Separate fish from skin by sliding a spatula between them; transfer filets to a plate. Serve with yogurt garlic dill sauce.

    3. To make yogurt garlic dill sauce, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    Nutrition info per serving (4): 249.3 calories; 9.5 g fat; 2.4 g saturated fat; 68.3 mg cholesterol; 34.3 g protein; 4.8 g carbohydrates; 0.1 g fiber; 394.1 mg sodium

  • Chicken Souvlaki Pitas

    1 pound chicken tenderloins
    Bamboo skewers
    4 whole-grain pitas

    For The  Souvlaki Marinade
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon fresh (or 1/2 teaspoon dried) oregano
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    For The Tzatziki Sauce
    1 cup plain yogurt (see recipe above)
    1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, shredded
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon minced fresh mint leaves
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1. In a bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Add chicken, and mix well to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

    2. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes, and heat grill to medium. Thread chicken onto skewers, and grill four minutes on each side.

    3. Combine ingredients for tzatziki in a small bowl. Serve with the chicken in pitas

    Nutrition info per serving (4): 233.8 calories; 9.4 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 69.4 mg cholesterol; 29.8 g protein; 7 g carbohydrates; 0.5 g fiber; 408.6 mg sodium

  • Basic Kefir

    1 tablespoon new kefir grains (rinsed with milk)
    1 cup whole milk or plain soy milk

    1. If you’re starting with new kefir grains, rinse them with milk in a plastic strainer. Place kefir in a small glass jar, and add milk. Cover with a cloth or piece of paper, and let ferment at room temperature for 24 hours.

    2. Stir mixture with a wooden or plastic spoon. Using a plastic strainer, strain kefir into a container. Store in refrigerator.

    3. Kefir grains will continue to grow and multiply. To slow down production, ferment them in the fridge for five days, instead of 24 hours at room temperature.

    Nutrition info per serving, per one cup (using whole milk): 162 calories; 8 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 8 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 125 mg sodium

  • Berry-Banana Kefir Smoothie

    1 cup kefir
    1/2 cup frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries)
    1 ripe banana
    1 tablespoon honey (optional)
    5 to 6 ice cubes

    1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

    Quick tip: Too rushed in the morning to take out the blender and whip up a smoothie? Simply mix one part kefir with one part fruit juice in a glass. The banana and berries are prebiotic foods, which help stimulate the probiotics in the kefir to reproduce in your digestive system and create a healthy environment there.

    Nutrition info per serving (2): 185 calories; 4 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 1 g protein; 35 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 65 mg sodium

  • Supps to Soothe Chemo Pain

    A natural sleep remedy, a tea extract, and a good ol’ multivitamin can help alleviate fatigue and pain among cancer patients, new research suggests. The study by researchers at Cancer Treatment Centers of America looked at 50 pancreatic cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. All were taking pain medication, but 36 also took green tea extract, melatonin, and multivitamins.

    By Lisa Marshall
  • In Season: Basil

    More than just the sum of its pestos, basil also boasts an array of nutritional benefits. A mere 2 teaspoons of the dried herb provide 60 percent of your RDA for vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting and helps the body absorb calcium—crucial in building bone density.

    By Wendy McMillan
  • Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier

    Beware the power of suggestion, and turn off the Saturday morning cartoons. According to researchers at the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the University of Minnesota, nine out of 10 food commercials shown during Saturday morning children’s TV shows feature foods that have poor nutritional quality.